bichon (plural bichons)
- Any of a class of toy dogs with curly or wavy hair and long curled tails.
- (especially Canada, US) A Bichon Frisé.
From Middle French bichon (“small long-haired dog”), from Old French biche (“bitch, female dog”), from Old English biċċe (“female dog”), from Proto-Germanic *bikjǭ (“female dog, bitch”). Cognate with Old Norse bikkja (“female dog”), German Betze (“female dog”). More at bitch.
Alternative etymology derives through an apheresis of barbichon (“small poodle”), a diminutive of barbiche (“shaggy dog”), however, chronology makes this derivation improbable if not impossible, as bichon is attested since 1588, yet barbichon does not appear until 1694.